Jimmy-the-Lip doesn't want to be bothered
so he makes up names, ”I'm under contract
with KGR Corp.," he says,
"to evaluate a research facility,
it's all confidential of course,
all on the hush hush, I'll be in town
for a couple of days, and my report
will depend a lot on how I'm treated
by the locals." Jessie puts a good smile on,
gets a scratch ticket and a refill.
We take down the street signs
and the escapees don't know where to go,
they mill around on the street,
gather under the sidewalk trees and squawk,
the way gulls gather around pilings.
They see three moves ahead on the checkerboard,
three moves behind on the bed board.
One of the gulls flies off,
three others follow along.
We go through what will come to be known
as difficult times. Trees have cycles,
heavy fruit one year then ten years off,
ten years of depression for the fruit eaters,
the good times raised our hopes
but it was just a tease,
now we have to scale back.
Rain changes the smells, it comes in slow,
a few drops, then a deluge that tapers off
until all that's left is storm rumble,
water tumbling down hill, high water
on the Skagit, the smell of muddy water.
Trees slow the water down,
the standing trees and logjams,
like red tape keeping a migration under control.
I can't use the pond but I like it,
the sunsets reflecting, buzzing insects,
fourteen ducks doing duck things.
On the slope behind the pond a windbreak
shows where Benson scratched out a garden,
where she danced,
when it got quiet he looked up.
Sunday, July 12, 2009